I like Bangalore. It’s one huge polluted traffic jam from one end to the other, and in the monsoon it’s one huge polluted traffic jam sitting in between six inches and six feet of water, but I still like it. It’d something to do with the sense of comfort that comes from knowing a place well, but it’s more than just that. It’s home, I think, and that counts for something in the end – possibly a lot.
The most immediate difference I felt, the moment I got off the plane, was the feeling of relaxation. I don’t have a sense of personal danger here the way I do in London; I don’t have to constantly analyse every person walking towards me, avoid every group of teenagers just in case, keep an eye out for potential threats and be paranoid about security cameras and potential terrorism. I can just relax, go where I want with what I want, and the worst that will happen to me is that my pocket will be picked. I know this is skewed by having been mugged in London, and not having been mugged in Bangalore, but that sense of constant tension just isn’t in the air. I do appreciate that.
I am looking forward to going home; to have that sense of belonging again, to see people I’ve known all my life, to pick up old threads. Simple things are the most missed, I think – the smell of the monsoon rain, the chaos and confusion of Gandhi Bazaar, waking up early in the morning to the sound of peacocks and the promise of a hot idli. Ah well. Roll on October.